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tv   Wolf  CNN  August 23, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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hello, i'm wolf blitzer, it's 10:00 a.m. in reno, nevada, 1:00 p.m. here in washington. 8:00 p.m. in washington. in just a few hours, donald trump will give a speech in nevada. which trump will show up, will he stick to a teleprompter, or will he devofl into the man we saw in phoenix last night, delivering this campaign rally type of speech. it was a 77-minute rant, where the president was at times
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vengeful and divisive. he stoked a culture war over confederate monuments and blamed the news media for a divided country all while using terms like us to describe his base and then the majority of americans who don't vote for him. >> our movement is a movement built on love, but the very dishonest media, those people right up there, with all the cameras, they don't report the facts, just like they don't want to report that i spoke out forcedly against bigotry and hate and violence. i hit them with everything, i got the white supremacist, the neo-nazi, and all that. they're trying to take away our culture, our history, they're weak, weak people. honestly, these are really,
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really dishonest people and they're bad people, and i really think they don't like our country, i really believe that. >> let's go to our correspondent in reno, jason caroll, we don't have any idea which donald trump will show up, the carefully scripted teleprompter speech or more of a rant? >> reporter: i can say this, wolf, two teleprompters are set up inside and the president is expected to read from prepared remarks here at the american legions 99th annual convention and this is what's expected and i say expected because we have seen so many times in the past, including last anight when the president decides to go off script. if all goes as planned, here's what's expected to happen. the president's expected to speak in just about an hour from now, he's expected to read from prepared remarks, let me read
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you an exempt from some of these remarks, he will say we are hear to hold you up as an example of strength, love and courage that our country will need as we overcome every challenge that we face. it's time to heal the wounds that have divided us. after he then reads from those prepared remarks, he's set to sign the moderation act, that is a bill that's basically expected to streamline the process of having veterans appeal for their benefits, disability benefits, so again, this is what's expected to happen, but as we have seen so many times in the past, this president has gone offscript, certainly there are many people in his administration that today and here hope that he sticks to the script. >> thanks very much jason caroll in reno, who will have coverage of the president's speech.
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and also we have a panel that is reabling to what we saw less than 24 hours ago. so matt, i don't know if you're a republican, i know you're a serious journalist, i know these two ladies here are republicans. but let's talk about going from the type of speech the president deliver eed last night. to what is expect to be a very different kind of speech to the american legion. >> now he's oscillating between giving prepared remarks o s on camera, to delivering his rants where he does his sch tick for
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applause. any time you hit your mark and you say what your strategists want to say and the next day you go out and just sort of ad libs, it goes against everything you're trying to do. it's important to remember that speeches are tactics, so what you should be doing is have a broad strategy of what is it that you really want to do? is passing health care reform, is passing tax reform part of your agenda. he's responding not being pro active. >> i do see a theme running through the last three speeches, the speech about afghanistan on monday and then yesterday. he's starting to talk much more got patriotism, loyalty,
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history, heritage. i think this gets into dangerous territory, because he gives off the idea that you can only be patriotic in this country by being loyal to him. he's trying to get loyals behind him. at two events in three days. >> is that based on what he needs and wants or is it a strategy? >> it's what he needs to have republicans line up behind him. do i think it's going to be a success? i don't think so. >> he'll certainly get his base behind him. last time i checked jeff flake is a republican, mitch mcconnell is the majority lead in the senate. and jeff sessions, these are all
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republicans. this is the donald trump who started the birther movement. this is the donald trump who's invented and lied about facts that have been said over and over again. to quote maya angelou said-- >> i think that this was actually who he is, but i do think there's a showman's side to him. he likes the applause, he likes to play to the crowds. >> this is way beyond showmanship, what she saw last night is not normal. what he saw last night is not performance. what we saw last night is a person who got backlash from a very deficient response to a tragedy in charlottesville and instead of using the opportunity to be a healer and be a uniter went out there to stoke the flames of division even further.
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when he says they're taking away our history? who's they? who's our? what history? what he's doing is dog whistles in front of that base. i said it last night and i'll say it again, the only defensible explanation is that he's not well. because if he is completely sane, then he's the biggest jerk we have seen in the world. >> let me just play a clip. because perhaps with the exception of anna's statement, the strongest condemnation of what we heard from president trump came from the former director of national intelligence james clapper. he was on cnn and he said this. >> i really question his ability to -- his fitness to be in this office. and i also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. maybe he is looking for a way out. i worry about frankly, you know, the access to the nuclear codes.
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>> that was a pretty amazing statement coming from someone who has served in the military for 30 years, served under republican presidents and democratic presidents and for him to where concerned about having this president having access to nuclear codes. >> this is very disturbing to hear someone of his stature say something like that about our president. last night he held a campaign re-election rally. a re-election rally, without getting any party achievements done. he's not interested in passing legislation that help the republican party, otherwise he would be on the phone with mitch mcconnell, not in this stone cold war. he would be looking for votes. i think it's ludicrous to think that he's going to walk away in
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this ever, but he wants the attention on him and the way he eat going to do this, is fighting this large culture war against the media, against political correctness, as we saw in the 2016 campaign. >> i think we're overthinking, i think what last night was about was about making himself feel good. i think he needs that kind of reaffirmation and that kind of love. when he faced a backlash from his charlottesville reaction, that just gets under his skin, he can't let go of it. that's why he relitigated ill page by page, out of context, putting out lies of omission. >> it's obviously pretty scary, general clapper has served in the government and high intelligence positions for 50 years. and look, i think a couple things are true, right? one of the things we know is that donald trump does seem to
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lack impulse control, he does seem to sometimes fly off the hand m, and as i said earlier, be reactive. he also seems to be vengeful. on the other hand, we know it's true that in the modern era, the president has, you know, the president could not to alarm people out there, but the president could start a nuclear war. any president could, without congressional approval, like this is the way it works in the modern era. so you know, we have seen, remember linden johnson runs for president in 1964 and scares everybody about barry goldwater, so i don't want to stoke fear. but this is dni jake clapper, not me saying this. >> we have seen them when they think the mikes aren't on, and we have heard them, there is a lot of republicans out there who are concerned. >> don't they think about this
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before they vote. >> they need to start saying it not in private, they need to start saying it in public, because they have a duty to this country much beyond a duty to the party. the president, he takes on republicans, but how much lasting damage is he doing to his own party? when we come back, i'm going to ask republican congressman and a whole lot more. don't go away. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish,
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megan's smile is getting a lot because she uses act® mouthwash. act® strengthens enamel, protects teeth from harmful acids, and helps prevent cavities. go beyond brushing with act®. . right at the top of the hour, we're going to hear from president trump, he'll be speaking at an event in reno, nevada. we'll have live coverage of that event. and last night he did a speech at a rally of his base. he also took on members of his own party, including two from
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right there in the state of arizona. >> we were just one vote away from victory after seven years of everybody proclaiming repeal and replace, one vote away. one vote away, i will not mention any names. very presidential, isn't it? very presidential. and nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who is weak on borders, weak on crime, so i won't talk about him. >> president trump was talking about the two arizona senators and john mccain and senator jeff flake, the junior senator from arizona. also said the president did begin to name some names, quote, phoenix crowd last night was amazing, packed house.
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i love the great state of arizona, not a fan of jeff flake, weak on crime and borders. jake, thank you for joining us, i wonder what you thought about trump's attacks on two senators from that state. a war hero who right now is battling brain cancer, going through very extensive medical treatment, did not even wish senator mccain a speedy recovery. >> yeah, it's disappointing is probably the most nice thing i can say about that. john mccain, i have gotten to know him since i have been in congress and he and i have grown to become friends and i'll tell you, even if we don't agree on every issue, i have an idea that every avote this man takes, he believes it's right for america.
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he's been amazes on foreign policy and america's strength and not to mention his heroism in the war, he's told me stories about what he's gone through and i say, oh, man, if i could ever have even half the courage you have had in my life. and so a disagreement with senator mccain over a vote on the repeal and replace bill, at at least say, wish him a speedy recovery. you can call him out and say i wish you had voted yes, but to go after him as he has in the past, and jeff flake who i know voted for the repeal and replace but has just been critical of donald trump. what we need to do is unite our party, and then our party needs to focus on uniting a very divided country, because on both sides of the aisle, everywhere,
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passions are being ignited, it doesn't end with one side saying oh, i guess the other side is right and i need to change my view, it ends in violence and that's where the country doesn't want to go again. >> he went after the news media, i'm going to play two kwlclippi what, he said last night in terms of the reaction to the charlottesville disaster and what he actually said, listen to this. >> here's what i said on saturday, we're closely following the terrible events unfolding in charlottesville, virginia, this is me speaking, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this eagreogregi display of hatred, racism and violence. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this display of builtry, racism and violence on many sides. >> he left out the on many sides. and elsewhere he didn't mention what he actually said during
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that news conference a week ago tuesday when he said there were very fine people on both sides. among the white supremacists, as well as the counterprotesters. what's your reaction to that? >> i mean, my reaction is unfavorable. i condemned the charlottesville remarks and said there niece place for neo-nazis, the kkk or white supremacists in any form. and i was confused about the rally, but the doubling down on revisiting that. i thought he gave a really good speech on afghanistan and to change the news cycle again and say what he said is confusing to me. we have to look to president obama or president trump or whoever the next president is going to be, we have to look to the president at a time when there's a real division, we need somebody who's going to unify. we're always going to have
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different political ideologies, but at least bring the temperature down. but some of the comments yesterday didn't do anything to calm these flames that are just burning right now in the greatest country in the world. >> when you get back to washington after labor day, one of the first things you and your colleagues of the house and senate are going to have to do is raise the nation's debt ceiling so the country doesn't default on its outstanding obligations here in the united states and around the world. but the president said this last night. listen. >> believe me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall. >> i'll just repeat it. he said if we have to close down that government, we're building that wall. what's your reaction, linking in effect a government shutdown, defaulting on the nation's debt, avoiding raising the debt ceiling to a commitment from congress to pass electilegisla
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build a wall. >> a government shutdown has a big psychological impact, and it really hurts our role in the world because other countries are looking to us when we default. when we were approaching the debt lift, the stock actually fell 1,000 points. the debt limit isn't spending muff money, it's just paying your credit card bill for money already spent. it's a big concern, shutting down the government over a wall. any time we talk about shutting the government is wrong. i'll support funding for border security, i don't think it needs to be a wall, but you can do virtual fencing and fencing and walls in certain areas, but to even toy with a government shutdown, i think it's dangerous
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for our role in the world when we're talking to nations like afghanistan to say here's how you govern yourself. >> congressman adam -- he's fighting with member organization of his own party including leaders and his agenda, at least for now is a mess. but what are the democrats doing to take advantage and who speaks to the democrats these days anyway? would it be hillary clinton? former president barack obama? bernie sanders? someone else? we're going to be talking to a democrat from philadelphia, we will be discussing that and more after this short break. we're the tenneys and we're usaa members for life.
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city officials have just put a black tarp over the statue of robert e. lee. there you see that black shroud over the robert e. lee statue on the campus of the university of virginia. i want to bring in democratic congressman o'boil, who's a member of the foreign affairs committee. what do you think of that black shroud placed over that statue? >> thanks, wolf, for having me, i haven't had a chance to see it. you know, we're 241 years into now the great american experiment. and i think one of the key questions we face as a country that's borne not out of one race or one ethnicity or one religion, but out of a commitment to a certain set of ideals is how we deal with our history when we as a people fail
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to live up to those ideals, do we keep those statues or do we instead put plaques in their place explaining that many of them went up during the civil rights era, in that effort to end racism. it's a certain amount of growing pains about our checkered past where in the areas of race we haven't lived up to our nation's founding ideals. >> i want to ask you something, congressman, you're in the foreign affairs committee, listen to what president donald trump said last night about kim jong-un, the north korean leader. listen to this. >> kim jong-un, i respect the fact that he believe he's starting to respect us. i respect that fact very much. and maybe, probably not, but
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maybe something positive can come about. >> two weeks, he was warning of fire and fury. he said the u.s. military was lock and loaded as far as north korea is concerned. now he's saying some positive things may actually come out of kim jong-un. what's your reaction? >> wolf, i'm sorry, i wasn't able to hear in my ear president trump's speech from last night. but i did listen to much of the rambling 75 minutes, but if you combine that with what secretary of state tillerson said in the last few days, we certainly have seen a pulling back of the strong rhetoric on both sides, and i think that is a positive thing. as you may recall, i have been on the show before and i have actually cut president trump some slack in this regard, that the north korea issue has been a
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problem that's bedeviled us for years now. this is a regime that's hellbent on becoming a nuclear power. on this issue, i think we need to be as bipartisan as possible. some of president trump's rhetoric a couple weeks ago was extremely unhelpful and that someone could make a miscalculation and lead us into something from which we cannot pull back. >> what he said about kim jong-un, i respect the fact that he's starting to respect us, i respect that very much. and maybe, probably not, but maybe something passive can come about as a result of that. those were his words, let's talk about some other issues while i have you here. you are a democrat, are you
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taking fire that the president is failing to pass some substantiv substantive, really significant legislation. a recent cnn poll congressman shows that only 24% of the american public approve of how republican leaders are handling their jobs in congress. 71% disapprove. be look at this, democrats aren't faring all that much better, that same poll shows only 34% approve of the way democrats are handling things compared to 59%. so what is your party, what do the democrats need to do now to change things? >> well, two things, wolf. first, it is now a fact that eight months into donald trump's presidency he has failed where every other incoming president has succeeded in terms of getting passed at least one of his major legislative initiatives. with george w. bush, it was the big tax cut, with bill clinton,
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it was his economic policy, in 1993. with barack obama it was the stimulus. so you have to go back to a time before my lifetime to find a president who in his first year hasn't been able to get through his major legislative agenda. >> the question is, what do the democrats need to do. i know you can complain about president trump and the republicans. but the democrats, they've got some issues right now as well. >> will, i said two things, that was the second thing i was gettiget ing to, in terms of okay what do the democrats stand for? whenever one party is in control of the white house, the question is who speaks for the party. there's a lot of energy going on right now from the grass roots all the way up on the democratic side and an opportunity for new leaders to emerge. myself and a fellow colleague of mine co-founded the blue collar
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caucus, we now have 40 of our house democratic colleagues who believe that we need to reconnect ourselves with working class americans and working class voters in this country, there's efforts going on in all parts of the country, especially at the local level. there's no question, this is a tough time to be a democrat. we don't control the house, we don't control the senate. and the fewest number of state legislative seats in a hundred years, it's time for us to set a course as democrats, not just the next election, but the next 10, 20 years down the line so i'm actually excited in making sure that we have the energy to meet this moment. coming up, a cnn exclusive interview with the former ambassador to the u.s., sergey
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more breaking news coming into cnn, a senior white house official now telling cnn the white house is scheduling meetings between the president and the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell during the first week back from congress, that's right after labor day in early september. this coming amid reports of a serious feud between the two men. they haven't spoken in several weeks and there it's been some serious rancor there, much more coming up. but quickly i want to get to a cnn exclusive interview, with a signal figure in the investigation of russian
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meddling in the 2016 presidential election here in the united states. as russia's ambassador of the united states for many years, sergey kislayak met with several people in the trump campaign, those meetings and the fact that they were not initially disclosed, led to the firing of president trump's first national secure adviser michael flynn and his first national security adviser to recuse himself from the investigation. matthew, you had a chance to meet with him, tell our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world what ambassador kislayak had to say. >> reporter: absolutely, wolf, well, first of all, sergey kislayak was not expecting to meet us here in central russia. we have been staking him out in the city for the past 48 hours, when we finally managed to track him down and have a face-to-face
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interview with him, we asked him some of those key questions that have been hanging over the trump administration, the trump team, about the allegations of collusion with the kremlin. take a listen. did you discuss opening secret channels with the kremlin with jared kushner, for instance? >> i have said many times that we do not discuss our discussions with our american interlocutors. >> how surprised were you when he disclosed secret information to you about syria. >> i'm not sure that i heard anything that would be secret. but it was a good meeting and we were discusses things that are important to your country and mine. >> what about allegations that you're a spy master and a spy recruiter, did you recruit any members of the trump
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administration? >> people keep pointing to this allegation. it's nonsense. >> it's u.s. security intelligence officials that made it. >> i have heard that in a statement, and i also have said that i was a diplomat, i had no reason to doubt that he knew what he said. >> reporter: sergey kislayak was recalled from his post a few weeks ago, he was replaced just a few days ago by another ambassador to the u.s. he toed the american line about what was talkied about with the president. >> i'm glad you caught up with ambassador kislayak and got that first interview with a western news media organization, our cnn. and i'm glad you did that.
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thanks very much, matthew chance on the scene for us working hard as usual. coming up, a major command shake-up at the u.s. navy after a wake of deadly disasters at sea. what does that mean for the investigation? and a u.s. readiness of the fleet in asian waters, especially at a time of tension with north korea, we'll be right back. i switched to t-mobile, kept my phone-everything on it- -oh, they even paid it off! wow! yeah. it's nice that every bad decision doesn't have to be permenant! ditch verizon. keep your phone. we'll even pay it off when you switch to america's best unlimited network. i'm joy bauer, and as a nutritionist i know probiotics can often help. try digestive advantage. it's tougher than your stomach's harsh environment,
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. the u.s. navy has now made a major command change involving the uss "john mccain." 10 sailors were missing but now
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crews have recovered some remains. i want to bring in john kirby our senior diplomatic spokesman for the state department. and the commander of the seventh fleet. he was supposed to retire in a month or so anyhow. so how extraordinary is this to remove him? >> it's pretty unusual, in fact navy officials cannot tell us when the last time that a navy commander was removed in this manner. but over the last 18 months, you've had four navigation related mishaps, four in this area of responsibility, two of them collisions, and with lethal consequences. maybe they're concerned about a trend here, maybe not connecting all the dots, but they're concerned about a trend. >> wouldn't they want to make an investigation before making a decision like that? >> it's not unusual in the navy
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to take accountability measures before investigations are completed. you'll recall that the navy took the commanding officer was relieved of their make this kind of accountability decision before the investigation is over. >> what about the families and loved ones who are watching all of this and knowing, especially in the asian waters in the pacific, it's a tense time with north korea. >> it is very tense. tempo is very high. i think the message to the rank and file of their families is that the navy takes accountability seriously. it also takes leadership seriously and even while the investigation is ongoing, what this firing tells me is that they -- the minimum, the navy believes that leadership, at the fleet level, has somehow wrapped up in what we're seeing here in
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terms of these accidents and this trend. now, there may be other reasons here. the tempo we talked about, budget uncertainty, training, material readiness but a lot of that also comes under the fleet commander's purview so what that tells me is they believe leadership at that level was wanting. >> all four of these could simply be a convinincidence or . >> exactly. and they won't knowing in they get done these last two investigations but i think they'll probably find some threads here. also i think one of the threads here is the leader himself, the commander has authority and responsibility for the well-being of the forces under his control and his command, and again, clearly, i think they're indicating with this action that they find that the leadership was perhaps not as effective as it should be. >> yeah. all right, well, john kirby, thanks for the explanation. appreciate it. coming up, we're just moments away from president trump's speech in reno, nevada. live pictures coming in. less than 24 hours after many are calling a very divisive speech in phoenix last night.
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so what are we about to hear now? we'll go there live when we come back. as master sergeant. they really appreciate the military family, and it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle, i actually called usaa before we called the police. usaa was there hands-on very quick very prompt. i feel like we're being handled as people that actually have a genuine need. we're the webber family and we are usaa members for life. usaa, get your insurance quote today.
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more to stream to every screen. president trump's hand picked ambassador to israel now says the president's response to what happened in charlottesville, virginia, was, quote, not fine. david friedman is critical of the president's response to the violence in virginia where, by the way, the large black shroud is now covering a statue of the confederate general, robert e. lee. friedman who was president trump's bankruptcy attorney before posted to israel also says he thinks the president is being treated unfairly by the news media. take a look at some live pictures coming in from reno, nevada, right now, the site of the american allegiance 99th annual national convention. any minute now, we expect to hear from president donald trump as he makes remarks to the influential veterans
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organization. we're going to bring that to you live as soon as it starts. we're here with us now to discuss all of this and more, our senior political reporter and our senior political analyst. so, mark, what do you expect? which, as they say, donald trump shows up for this speech in reno? >> let me roll the dice and we'll see what happens in a few minutes. i think the safe guess is that we'll see a little bit of what we saw last night and probably a lot of what we saw the other evening on monday evening when he was down there talking about how he was going to increase the amount of troops going into afghanistan. but i do think that the energy that he felt himself off of his supporters is probably still inside of him, and i would be shocked if he doesn't go off script in some way, shape, or form today and do some things that would be, quote, unquote, unpresidential. >> he likes the very receptive, big crowd and i think this generally will be a receptive, very big crowd. >> i think so. he loved it up there last night.
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he was up there for 75 minutes, really tossing red meat to that crowd and you expect he'll do that today. this is, you know, he'll talk about veterans. unfortunately, he didn't have such nice things to say about one of america's most famous veterans last night, john mccain, maybe he'll make up for that and say something about him there. maybe he'll say something about the soldiers who were lost, the ten folks on that ship who were lost over these last days. so we'll see. i mean, i think we know who the real trump is, right? i mean, it was who we saw last night. that he was off script at some times, he was on script at times and i think we'll see the same today. >> we are also hearing, now, from hillary clinton, mark. hillary clinton's got a new book coming out next month, and the first little excerpt has just been released, and there's audio of her complaining about then-candidate donald trump, the republican nominee during that second presidential debate.
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listen. >> it was incredibly uncomfortable. he was literally breathing down my neck. my skin crawled. it was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, well, what would you do? do you stay calm, keep smiling, and carry on as if he weren't repeatededly invading your space? or do you turn, look him in the eye, and say, loudly and clearly, back up, you creep. get away from me. i know you love to intimidate women, but you can't intimidate me, so back up. i chose option a. >> i think it was smart of her to choose option a at the time because if you remember that, and specifically in debates, too, that's a tactic that's used, that you're taught to try to intimidate the person you're debating against. not just by words but by your
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body action and your movements and what have you. had she turned to donald trump, though, and said, back off, you creep, that probably wouldn't have played very well with the american public. some people might think that she's not tough enough and strong enough to take the staredown from donald trump but i clearly remember that. that was a speaky, weird, strange -- >> it was odd and awkward. >> in many ways, she didn't have to say anything because i think americans thought that was a spooky, strange weird moment. >> it was just a couple days after the "access hollywood" tape had come out when he had bragged about groping women, something that he thought he could do because he was famous. so it was in the context of that that i think a lot of viewers were watching it. i think it's smart of them to release this kind of excerpt from this book because we know how she feels in terms of why she lost, the russian government having a role in why she ended up losing, and comey, so this is something in realtime, what she was thinking, and now she's revealing that. so i think, you know, this book
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comes out next month and we'll see what else she has to say. >> she's clearly in her own mind reliving that moment and wondering what would have been the impact especially in the aftermath of the "access hollywood" video that had been released, what would have been the impact if she would have turned toward him, looked him in the eye, and said, back up, you creep, get away from me. i know you love to intimidate women, but you can't intimidate me. if she had -- i suspect she's still thinking, in her mind, what would have been the reaction to powerful words like that. >> right. and in some ways, it's a would have, could have, should have done it situation. although, you know, in the end, i still think that she did the right thing. i think it says a lot to show that you have a steel expression on your face when you're under that kind of pressure. would it have helped her? in the end, he won. i don't think that moment would have made the turn for her, but who knows. >> it was a moment a lot of us remember watching that. >> yeah.
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>> and wondering how the "access hollywood" video might impact that debate and we know now that that was very much on her mind. all right, guys, thanks very, very much. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." president trump will speak any president trump will speak any moment now in reno, nevada. -- captions by vitac -- you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. in moment now, president trump will take to the stage in reno, nevada, his third speech in three days and it comes as we get these new numbers in from quinnipiac university. 62% say president trump is doing more to divide the country compared to 31% who say he's doing more to unite. the survey also finds that 35% of voters approve of the